Man unloads grain of wheat into a truck on fields of the Arseny collective farm in Ivanovo region, Russia.Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
Russia will be able to reach full self-sufficiency in agricultural products, except for exotic foods, in seven years, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev announced during Government Hour in the State Duma.
Tkachev provided details about agricultural exports plans, stating that Russia will export about 35 million tons of grain during the current agricultural year.
“Of course, we will not regain all the lost farmland, but I feel confident that 10-12 million hectares (25-30 million acres) will be brought back into agricultural production. The task of bringing farmland back into circulation is a priority,” said the Tkachev.
The minister said that the grain harvest this year reached 117 million tons, which is an absolute record for post-Soviet Russia. “More was harvested only back in 1978, when 127 million tons were gathered,” he said.
Russian exports in the meat sector could reach 1 million tons by 2020. Russia seeks to open Asian markets for Russian meat to help realize this export target.
To achieve to completely replace imported dairy products, Russia will need to develop more than 800 dairy farms, or 160 farms every year by 2020, Tkachev said.
The ministry plans to increase the size of grants given to farmers engaged in meat and dairy cattle breeding. The ministry also plans to take measures to protect domestic producers from unfair competition by counterfeit manufacturers.
First published in Russian by Rossiyskaya Gazeta
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